Friday Picks & Sleepers

The blurbing of SXSW


All showcases subject to change


Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

8pm, Austin Music Hall If you still haven't heard the name, don't worry, there are a few seats left on the Black Joe Lewis bandwagon. The gritty Austin soul shouter and his sevenpiece band of Honeybears spent last year bum-rushing the festival circuit, barnstorming Europe, playing late-night talk shows, and shouting their Lost Highway debut, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!. (Also: Sat., 11:30pm, Austin Music Hall.) – Thomas Fawcett

Band of Skulls

8pm, Beauty Bar/Palm Door Led by the butcher-shop painting of bassist Emma Richardson and high-pitched yelp and clang of guitarist Russell Marsden, this Southampton trio brought the feral tussle of Jack White and Alison Mosshart's the Dead Weather to bear on last spring's banging debut, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. (Also: Fri., 1am, Maggie Mae's.) – Raoul Hernandez

Freelance Whales

8pm, Galaxy Room Backyard Challenging Brooklyn's hegemony with debut Weathervanes (Frenchkiss), this Queens fivepiece earned accolades from the tastemakers at KEXP and NPR. Sonically speaking, they split the difference between Feels-era Animal Collective and the Low Anthem. Harmonium, banjo, glockenspiel, synthesizers, guitars, and more conventional instruments address modern concerns, dislocation, romance, anxiety. – Dan Oko

Charlie Parr

8:15pm, Victorian Room at the Driskill There are old souls, and then there's Parr. The Duluth, Minn., songwriter excavates roots as deep as anything recorded by Lomax, a songbook of resonator blues and banjo folk delivered with a worn but rich voice. Releasing seven albums in as many years, including 2007's excellent Jubilee, Parr's proven prolific and authentic. – Doug Freeman

Raphael Saadiq

9pm, Austin Music Hall The easy swagger of soul man Saadiq is timeless, a jazzy Miles Davis sort of cool. The former Tony Toni Toné frontman embodies the Motown sound on third LP The Way I See It, an album too entrenched in R&B for the throwback tag. – Thomas Fawcett

the Carolina Chocolate Drops

9pm, Victorian Room at the Driskill On Nonesuch debut Genuine Negro Jig, the CCDs bring humor, exceptional musicianship, and a contagious groove to banjo-dominated string-band music. The North Carolina trio explores a near-forgotten music style that originated more than a century ago in the Piedmont region of its home state with a delectable modern sensibility. – Jim Caligiuri

School of Seven Bells

9pm, La Zona Rosa Toothsome Big Apple synth sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, along with guitarist Benjamin Curtis, are cut from the My Bloody Valentine/Cocteau Twins cloth. At least they were on magnificent 2008 debut Alpinisms (Vagrant). Claudia recently intimated that this year's Disconnect From Desire will be different, so expect to hear a good half-dozen new songs. – Melanie Haupt

Zola Jesus

9:30pm, Club 1808 Zola Jesus, the nom de guerre of 20-year-old Madison, Wis., pianist Nika Roza Danilova, has the Lydia Lunch look down. If you can overlook the creepy cover of new six-song EP Stridulum, you'll find something more classical, as she straddles Tori Amos' piano bench with Kate Bush's lion heart. – Audra Schroeder


10pm, Encore No longer just a drone duo, Headdress has expanded to accommodate guitarist Trey Ramirez and drummer Adrian Carrillo, from local metal gang Pack of Wolves, and bassist Gabe Bishop from Vietnam. The result, according to singer-guitarist Caleb Coy, is "heavy as fuck," and a new LP tentatively called Guerra is scheduled for summer. – Audra Schroeder

Damaged Good$

10pm, the Independent @ 501 Studios With London producer Xrabit, Dallas buddies Coool Dundee and Theodore released Hello World in 2009, thrusting the duo into a world of hipster rap and neon clothing occupied by the likes of Pac Div and the Cool Kids. Even more playful than the Kids, these Big Dada rookies should have no trouble lighting up the party. – Chase Hoffberger

Justin Townes Earle

10pm, Red Eyed Fly "Anybody who calls themselves a singer-songwriter who says it doesn't go back to Woody Guthrie needs to get his head out of his ass." So says Justin Townes Earle, echoing his daddy Steve's penchant for bravado. Even so, last year's acclaimed Midnight at the Movies (Bloodshot) showed Earle to be his own man. Expect new songs. (Also: Sat., 7pm, Auditorium Shores.) – Dan Oko

Margaret Cho

10:25pm, Buffalo Billiards Last year, Madame Cho totally rubbed her brand new bag all up on our business. Her new bag is music, and some of her favorite musician-types (Andrew Bird, Ben Lee, Grant Lee Phillips, Garrison Starr, Tegan & Sara) have signed on. This year, expect – nay, demand – a mouthful of bling as she croons her ode to "My Lil Wayne." (Also: Fri., 12:50am, Esther's Follies; Sat., 10:10pm, Esther's Follies.) – Kate X Messer

A Sunny Day In Glasgow

11pm, Lamberts Underneath the warm wash of canned effects and megareverb, Philly sextet ASDIG is really a pop group. The group's been quite prolific in its short time on the scene, and latest Ashes Grammar expounds upon the summery harmonies and electro-puzzles of 2007 debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal. – Audra Schroeder

The Smith Westerns

11pm, Latitude 30 Last year brought slacker-pop, with bands like Girls and the Smith Westerns leading the way. On their eponymous HoZac debut, the Smith Westerns shoot from the hip with a ragged, bored charm, the Chicago quartet adding a touch of T. Rex and Mott the Hoople to the mix. – Doug Freeman


11pm, Spill Two decades ago, Reggie "Redman" Noble dropped a verse on EPMD's "Hardcore," a title that has served his career. Rhymes from the Brick City rapper drip with Muddy Waters, a grime scrubbed away by the perpetually blunted state that led to on-screen/in-studio collaborations with fellow chronic enthusiast Method Man. The Funk Doctor Spock is set to release his seventh album, Reggie. – Thomas Fawcett

Girl in a Coma

11pm, Buffalo Billiards You must know how Austin feels about our San Antonio darlings. They're like that daughter we gave up for adoption because we wanted her to have a better life. Every time we see Phanie, Jenn, and Nina, we beam over their accomplishments, like last year's brilliant sophomore LP for Joan Jett's Blackheart label, Trio B.C.Kate X Messer

Poirier featuring MC Zulu

11pm, the Independent @ 501 Studios With a sound as diverse as his native Montreal, Ninja Tune poster boy Ghislain Poirier's six LPs have run the gamut from rude-boy rap and French-Canadian breakbeats to ambient DJ work. As just Poirier, he's decidedly dancehall. The presence of Chicago's MC Zulu should translate to a unique level of dub mastery. (Also: Sat., 1am, Paradise.) – Chase Hoffberger

Holly Miranda

11:30pm, Central Presbyterian Church NYC singer-guitarist Miranda left the comfort of a band – the Jealous Girlfriends – to try her solo luck on debut The Magician's Private Library (XL). Produced by the ubiquitous Dave Sitek, it benefits from his love of dreamy effects, and while first single "Waves" puts her in Feistville, the remainder is sleek and mysterious. – Audra Schroeder

Oh No Ono

12mid, Lamberts These Danes are good at the mash-up, both in terms of band name and sound. Sophomore album Eggs (Friendly Fire) finds the kooky quintet making collages of psych, electro, and pop that appear more futuristic than a relic of the past, and they do it with Muppet-like enthusiasm. – Audra Schroeder

Buddy Miller

12mid, Cedar Street Courtyard Miller isn't only a fabulous songwriter and guitarist – that was him backing Krauss/Plant on tour – he's also the go-to producer for Patty Griffin, Solomon Burke, and Emmylou Harris. His most recent effort with wife Julie, Written in Chalk (New West), was named 2009 Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. – Jim Caligiuri

Rye Rye

12mid, Beauty Bar/Palm Door A breakout star from SXSW 2009, hype girl Rye Rye bounces around like a Jack Russell on Adderall rapping over the most furious Baltimore club beats. The first artist signed to M.I.A.'s NEET label, the teen prodigy releases debut Go! Pop! Bang! later this year. – Thomas Fawcett

Balkan Beat Box

12mid, Spill The hodgepodge of sounds from Brooklyn-via-Israel gypsy punks Balkan Beat Box, featuring ex-Gogol Bordello members, piles higher with each release. On 2007's Nu-Med, dancehall riddims collide with Mediterranean disco while Tomer Yosef's rhymes fight off animal noises. All fall victim to the inevitable klezmer hoedown. Forthcoming Blue Eyed Black Boy further jumbles the funk. (Also: Sat., 1am, Beauty Bar/Palm Door.) – Thomas Fawcett

Dengue Fever

1am, Encore Patio It's been a long, strange trip for Cambodian pop poachers Dengue Fever. Recent documentary Sleepwalking Through the Mekong chronicles the Los Angeles band's journey to the country of its muse, playing the psychedelic and surf-rock sounds of 1960s Cambodian pop in a nation where the genre had all but disappeared for a generation. On Dengue Fever Presents Electric Cambodia, the band defers to its favorite recorded rarities. (Also: Sat., 11pm, Emo's.) – Thomas Fawcett

Les Savy Fav

1am, Galaxy Room Backyard How many of you still think the only band of consequence from the Rhode Island School of Design was the Talking Heads? That still may be true, but only because Les Savy Fav is too busy making a sonic mess to muck about with suit jackets and serious shit. While the band might have edged closer to accessibility on latest Let's Stay Friends (Frenchkiss), it's still delightfully noisy at the core. – Michael Bertin

Mumiy Troll

1am, Valhalla Like Russia's president, Ilya Lagutenko will have something to say about his country's anemic showing at the Winter Olympics. His 10-year-old Russsian quartet – pronounced moo-me trole – will respond in kind from its eighth album, 2009's Comrade Ambassador. Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett meets Gogol Bordello. – Raoul Hernandez

Slim Cessna's Auto Club

1:10am, Beauty Bar Backyard The new album from Slim Cessna's Auto Club, a collection of rarities on Alternative Tentacles, is titled Buried Behind the Barn, appropriate given that SCAC sounds like an excavation of discarded Americana. Raucous, irreverent, and welling up like a dark Rocky Mountain prophecy of calamity, the Denver sextet stomps out one of the best live shows around. – Doug Freeman


The Young

7pm, Klub Krucial The Young's punk and hardcore pedigree rages against several machines. With an upcoming debut on NYC label Mexican Summer, the locals are poised to take tall, boy-fueled scuzz punk out of Matador's Casual Victim Pile and let it run wild in the streets. – Audra Schroeder

Amy Annelle

7:30pm, Stephen F's Bar When not strumming alongside Austin multi-instrumentalist Ralph White in Precious Blood, Annelle's fine as wine solo. Her spare country-folk comes alive on latest LP The Cimarron Banks, a naturalistic view and haunting way with melody spanning folk tradition from Appalachia to Wyoming. – Audra Schroeder

Jones Family Singers

9pm, Carver Museum Boyd Vance Theater Feel the need to get in touch with your more spiritual, repentant side? Bishop Fred A. Jones, founder and minister of Mt. Zion Pentecostal Cathedral International, and his children (and grandson) bring old-school gospel to the masses in the interest of raising the spirits and reverence for their Almighty. – Melanie Haupt


9pm, Emo's Jr. As a veteran of the Christ-church, New Zealand, scene, Annabel Alpers struck out on her own to master her electronic craft. She not only mastered it, she oscillates deftly between margarine eclipses and aphex dreams while airing out her own spacey niche. That cozy home is what she dubs My Electric Family (Drag City), her 2009 debut. – Kate X Messer

Pearl Harbor

9pm, Klub Krucial Breezy sister-girl vocals lay atop the satin sheets of this L.A. duo, as do indie-pierced guitar, synth sustain, and torso-driving beats. Piper and Skylar Kaplan's disaffected harmonies chassé somewhere between dusty Studio 54 fantasy and the perfect day at the beach. – Kate X Messer


9pm, the Independent @ 501 Studios Houston's Yppah blends soulful guitar parts with house beats to create what's basically a live DJ mix, equal parts rock, atmospheric, and jungle music. Last May's They Know What Ghost Know is his second on Ninja Tune. – Chase Hoffberger

Royal Bangs

9:15pm, Emo's Main Daft punks well-versed in the New Density of indie rock, Knoxville, Tenn.'s Royal Bangs convulse electro-jams with jerky guitars, clunky percussion, and throbbing synth-beats. The quintet's skittering sophomore LP, Let It Beep, was released on Patrick Carney's Audio Eagle, and judging from a hyperkinetic performance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, Royal Bangs have the goods to unload all that junk from the trunk too. – Austin Powell

Kid Sister & Flosstradamus

10:40pm, Malverde Chi-town club rapper Kid Sister won't have to dance the switchboard solo. Onstage will be real-life kid brother J2K of duo Flosstradamus. Kid Sis got an assist from Kanye West on salon anthem "Pro Nails," from debut Ultraviolet. – Thomas Fawcett


11pm, Karma Lounge Boom-boom-clap, ticky-ticky-boom-clap. To quote Kurtis Blow, these are the breaks, those irresistible moments in a funk tune when the drummer flexes stick. It's the bread and butter of L.A. sevenpiece Breakestra, which flows hip-hop sample sources into a continuous groove. Latest Dusk Till Dawn is the brainchild of "Music Man" Miles Tackett, who plays bass, keys, guitars, and sings. – Thomas Fawcett


11:20pm, Malverde Born of Fool's Gold producer Sammy Bananas and Brooklyn party gal Maggie Horn's inspiration to post-modify T-Pain's "Can't Believe It," Telephoned takes what's said on one end, passes it through trusted confidantes and bitchy gossip mongers, and ensures there's no telling what comes out the other end. The only guarantee is when it rings, you will pick up. – Kate X Messer

Zona Tango

11:45pm, Elephant Room Led by tango pioneer Pedro Menéndez, Z-Tango's psychedelically inclined Psicodelia Tango finds the veteran trio continuing to blend electronic, jazz, and traditional styles. Menéndez, a galvanizing force in Buenos Aires, at Austin's favorite underground jazz club should be required listening for anybody with a passing interest in tango's evolution. – Dan Oko

Grass Widow

12mid, Mohawk These S.F. ladies are still in the process of shaping their dischord into something great, but for now their three-part harmonic no wave surf skuzz is pretty sweet. Kill Rock Stars, where their debut lands in August, is the perfect incubator for their summer jams. – Audra Schroeder

The Antlers

12mid, Galaxy Room Backyard The Antlers' 2009 LP, Hospice, roused with a subtle lull and crescendo found in the quelled tremble of Peter Silberman. Solidifying as a trio with Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci, the album, reissued by Frenchkiss, brought Silberman's songwriting talents to realization. – Doug Freeman

Memory Tapes

12mid, Klub Krucial Over the past year, Dayve Hawk dropped a series of singles and remixes under various analog-infatuated monikers (Weird Tapes, Memory Cassette), but it was as Memory Tapes that he delivered his intoxicating debut, Seek Magic. The CD trips through subtly evolving beats that shade New Order and Arthur Russell with the contemporary touch of a more subdued DFA groove. (Also: Sat., 10pm, Cedar Street Courtyard.) – Doug Freeman


12:20am, Beauty Bar Backyard What more do you want from this shiny, happy, world-beating Lafayette fivepiece? Something hallucinogenic? Psychedelic? Check. While remaining true to their Louisiana roots, nesting boy/girl vocals stand atop a riveting clatter of dance groove, as heard on last year's self-titled EP. – Kate X Messer


1am, the Independent @ 501 Studios One of the most public DJs to champion the monome board, L.A.'s mad scientist Daedelus has maintained a furious recording schedule that's resulted in 12 LPs and 14 EPs on nearly as many labels over the past decade. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes. (Also: Sun., 1am, Beauty Bar Backyard.) – Chase Hoffberger


1am, Beauty Bar Detroit bands often get lumped in with the Stooges while sounding nothing like them, but Tyvek truly seems to be the product of some one-night stand between Iggy and maybe a weed-whacker. Siltbreeze put out the quartet's self-titled debut last year, a caffeinated punk brawl down on the street. – Audra Schroeder

Muck & the Mires

1am, B.D. Riley's Boston's Muck & the Mires are kind of a mindless garage band, which is only bad if you consider hip-shaking, snappy 1960s beach pop to be void in 2010. That said, Kim Fowley produced the group's latest, Hypnotic. – Michael Bertin

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Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

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March 20, 2015

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